SAN FRANCISCO - Surveillance video captured an arsonist light a fire in a San Francisco parklet.
This happened at The Blue Light in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood Sunday night.
"It’s crazy, we had an arson attack," said the bar’s owner Johnny Metheny. "The fire blew up. It was so bright and powerful."
Employees credit bartenders at neighboring businesses for helping put out the fire. As it was spreading, they dumped buckets of water on the flames, and used a fire extinguisher to get the fire under control before firefighters arrived.
The bar’s surveillance video shows a man arrive at the parklet just before midnight. He was wearing sunglasses, and crouched down in the corner. When he stood up to walk away, there were flames.
Metheny said, "It gave me kind of an eerie feeling. First I felt violated, then I felt scared for more businesses than just me because this guy is still running around."
David Marshall was bartending that night. He noticed the fire and called 911.
"I heard a snap. And I thought I heard someone say something but I just turned and the windows were lit up," said Marshall.
Within minutes, flames engulfed about a quarter of the parklet. Employees at neighboring bars and restaurants saw what was happening and ran over the help.
Metheny said: "They were just superstars. They ran over, helped, grabbed buckets of water, fire extinguishers, and they went to work."
Firefighters arrived shortly after and put out the fire. Neighbors walking by were surprised to see the damage, and concerned the fire may have been intentionally set.
"I’m a little nervous I’m also sad, this a local business and they deserve our support," said neighbor David Ferris.
"It’s horrible," said neighbor Erica Sandberg. "These are hardworking small business owners who have actually been here for the community during the pandemic."
Metheny does not recognize the man in the video but hopes somebody else does.
Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.
Nobody was hurt.